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I made a coopers IPA can 2 days ago and it's currently fermenting away (bubbles every few seconds) and is at around 21-24 °C (69-75 °F) which is what it says as the label.

The can says to bottle an add carbonation drops as soon as the hydrometer readings are the same after two days. Should I do this - or should I keep it in the fermenter a bit longer to allow the yeast to clean up after itself?

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Definitely keep it in the fermentor for a little longer, say 10-14 days, and then bottle. This helps condition the beer and also allows more of the yeast to fall out, giving clearer beer.

  • Do you mean 10-14 days AFTER it has stopped fermenting? I have heard that leaving it too long increases the chance of infection? – Sean Dec 2 '12 at 21:17
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    2 -3 weeks total time is normal, assuming the fermentation proceeded at a typical rate, which it sounds like yours did. Infection is not an issue, as long as you leave the beer undisturbed. – FishesCycle Dec 2 '12 at 22:48
  • So 2-3 weeks in the fermentor? Then bottle + carbonation drops for the second fermentation? Drink a few weeks after that at the earliest? – Sean Dec 3 '12 at 3:01
  • You only risk infection if you obsessively check the gravity every day or two and are constantly opening up the fermentor. After fermentation starts, there's not much reason to check it for a week or two. – Graham Dec 3 '12 at 13:27
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    @Sean: yes, about 2 weeks in the fermenter and then bottle and add the drops. The next phase is usually called Bottle Conditioning, not secondary fermentation (which refers to something different). Let the beer condition in the bottles for at least a week. At that point, go ahead and taste a bottle or two. The beer will improve over the next week or so. I had an average tasting beer get significantly better after 6 weeks in the bottle. – Jason Moore Dec 3 '12 at 17:36

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